Eugène François Vidocq was a French criminal and criminalist with the life and times inspired by many popular writers including Victor Hugo and Honoré de Balzac.
Once, Vidocq was the criminal and later became the founder and first director of a premier crime control organization named Sûreté Nationale, besides, being the head of first private detective agency. Vidocq is also considered as the father of modern criminology as well as French police. What’s more, Vidocq is also recognized as the first private detective in France.
About his antecedents, Eugène François Vidocq was born on 24 July 1775. As far as his childhood and youth goes, very little is known. However, the French archive it is found that Eugène’s father was a wealthy and well-educated personality, who was also into the profession of corn dealing.
Vidocq’s father was a successful corn dealer. Vidocq had six siblings in all, of which one died during the birth of Vidocq. During the early years of growth and development of Vidocq, he was fearless, rowdy and cunning. Though he was sluggish and lethargic in his actions, there’s absolutely no doubt about his intelligence.
He spent most of his time in the armouries of Arras. He was nicknamed as “le Vautrin”, and also acquired as the reputation of astounding fencer, who exploited his fencing skills fully, and proved his fighting intellect.
Vidocq had plenty of stories as a toddler. Once, when he was 13, Vidocq stole the money from the silver plates and spent it in a single day. Three days later, he was thrown to local jail Baudets.
It was only ten days later that he came to know that it was his own father who had arranged for his arrest. He was remanded o a total of fourteen days of jail custody, before he was released. But, despite this, Vidocq was not able to correct his attitude and behaviour.
When he turned 14, he had already stolen huge amounts of money from parent’s bakery, only to leave for Ostend. Out there he was plundered of his loot, and finally, he was without the money. In order to earn his living, he was hired by the travelling entertainers, where he continued to work hard in the role play only to get promoted from stable boy to fair-monster.
After a while, he worked hard to work as an assistant of a peddler, and soon he returned to his home in Arras in search for forgiveness from his parents. He was welcomed by his mother.
Vidocq had played majority of roles which helped in the criminal investigations of critical issues. These include undercover work, criminology, ballistics, record-keeping and much more. What’s more amazing!
He made first plaster casts from shoe impressions. He made the role model when he introduced unique anthropometrics, presently being used by French police. However, the saddest thing to know is that Vidocq was never acknowledged in France owing to his criminal record.
Vidocq had been a good and efficient investigator and his farsightedness on the crime is commendable.